A/N I've just got to say another big, THANKS, because you guys continual inspire me ! Hannon le!
Disclaimer: not mine
Chapter Ten: To Rivendell!
They spent several days in the cave, giving both elf and ranger a chance to heal both physically and mentally. The two friends had spent a good few hours fixing the hurtfully words thrown at each other.
We are both the better for it… Legolas thought, leaning his head back against the rock wall as Aragorn began examine his feet. He could visually see how the man's shoulders no longer slumped and he laughed easier, though a worried look remained on his face when he didn't think the elf was looking.
The elf suddenly tensed, Aragorn having began to massage a healing lotion into his feet. It stung. His injuries were all healing nicely, if slowly. They were preparing themselves to leave again, Aragorn's ankle having healed almost all the way.
"I'd reckon that you can be up and walking on your feet now, though it may be painful" Aragorn commented, working the lotion into the elf's feet with practiced ease.
"Good," Legolas teased, "I was sick of having to smell your greasy hair."
"Hey!" Aragorn protested, punching the elf lightly on his shoulder. Legolas just laughed heartily, breathing a silent sigh of relief as Aragorn put his foot back down. He had never truly valued healthy feet before now, but he was certainly going to start.
Standing, Aragorn crossed to the other side of the cave, where all their supplies were stored. Rummaging through them, he tossed a balled up object at his friend, before continuing to pack so they could leave.
Legolas just caught it, letting the contents tumbled lose. The elf gazed up with surprise at the man, seeing that Aragorn had tossed him his usually outer tunic, his belt, a knife and a cloak.
"Hannon le," he said gratefully. He hadn't know Aragorn had brought these along, or at least the tunic and belt. Shrugging the top on, he slipped the belt around his middle, making a small sound of distress when the buckle did not slide into it usually hole, cinching into a place a few holes down.
I know I lost weight…but that much! He thought, and this is after I've gained some of it back he realized. Aragorn had the elf on a very strict eating schedule and he was steadily gaining back what he had lost.
Aragorn looked up just as Legolas was placing the knife in his belt, raising his eyebrows with surprise when caught sight of the where the belt was buckled. Legolas caught the man's eyes, shrugging helplessly.
Turning back to the packs, Aragorn pulled out a piece of meat. Taking it, he ripped it in half before placing one the half's back and bringing the other over to Legolas. "Eat…" he commanded, trying to keep a note of worry from his voice.
Truth be told, he was concerned about their food supplies. With the amount of food they were eating and the rate they were traveling, the food would be gone days before they reached Imladris. The answer was simply, they would have to reduce rations which Aragorn was already doing himself. But, Legolas…Legolas had just beginning to fill out again and the man was loath to take him off food.
"Aragorn?" hearing his name, the human jerked back to reality.
"Sorry, what did you say?" he asked guiltily. Legolas was giving him a strange look, his hand lowering back to his lap.
"What are you worrying about, you human." the price asked playfully though with a note of seriousness.
"Nothing," Aragorn lied, wrapping his finger around Legolas wrist and bringing it back up, "now eat!" Legolas did not through his eyes lighting in realization, he starred down at his food with sudden disgust written across his features.
"We are running out of food, aren't we?" he whispered softly as it clicked. No wonder Aragorn had been eating smaller and smaller portions, how he had that worried look across his face the whole time.
"Yes…" the man admitted so softly that Legolas had to lean forward to lean forward to hear him.
"Estel, why didn't you tell me?" Legolas demeaned, shoving the piece of half-eaten meat back at the man.
"Look at yourself Legolas, why do you think I didn't tell you?" Legolas subconsciously pulled the cloak tighter around his body, shielding the fact of how thin his body was still.
"I am have lost weight, yes, but if you had told me, we could have left sooner." the elf said in a hurt tone, searching the man's face with this eyes.
"Well, what's done is done." With that, the ranger turned, finishing their packing and closing the conversation. He didn't regret his actions; Legolas would need all the food he could get.
"We are leaving." Legolas said firmly when the man turned back around. Rising to his feet, the elf attempted not to put too much of his weight on them.
"You won't get far like that, Legolas." the man replied, smirking slightly while reaching out and wrapping his fingers around the elf's bicep, steadying him. They would need to travel swiftly to make it back to Rivendell before they were in serious trouble.
They had no way to hunt for food, Aragorn having left both his an Legolas's bows back at Rivendell, thinking wrongly that they would not need them. Food would have been scarce enough to find in the winter as it was.
"What about traps?" Legolas asked, suddenly, obviously trying to think up an answer to problem. The prince knew they had them, Aragorn had made some while they were staying there. The man had been able to catch several small game animals, just had added to their supplies.
"I don't think we could very easily do it on the move." Aragorn said softly, smiling sadly at his friend before starting to walk. "Just try and keep up your famous elven endurance. I don't want to end up carrying you back, me being mortal."
Like a rush of wind, the next several days flew by, quickly changing into weeks. Aragorn and Legolas spent their days traveling hard, only stopping when night had truly fallen and starting again as soon as the sun cast it pale glittering rays. They were so close to Imladris they could almost taste a nice hot supper and feel their own beds; something both travelers yearned for.
At this moment, though, the elf and the ranger were seeking a place to rest, both exhausted.
"Do you know of any good place?" Legolas asked, panting alarming fast as he turned to the man. His feet were now healed enough that he could walk on them, which Legolas was immensely gratefully for.
Aragorn studies him for a second, worry clear in his face. The lack of food was taking its toll on the elf. The two had been forced to seriously cut rations several times, and now were done to the very last few bites.
The man sighed, he hated to admit it, but the lack of food was wearing down on him as well. He found himself tiring quickly and he could see himself disappearing rapidly. Normally he would have been much more affected than his friend, but with Legolas being so recently injured and starved, it was proving too much for even the strong elven body.
"I remember a place up ahead that will at least provide us with some sort of shelter." the human said, not liking the fact that Legolas had actually asked to stop. Legolas nodded, pushing back his blonde hair, which was free of its usual warrior braids.
"When your father see's us like this, he is going to go berserk." Legolas commented direly
"Not at me he isn't ― at you, yes!"Aragorn snorted "…and we are in better shape than we are sometimes!" Legolas broke into a smile at that, something that had been seen not enough lately.
"There it is," Aragorn suddenly pointing out a large huddle of bushes. When Legolas threw him a curious glance, he explained further. "The middle is hallow and quite spacey." Legolas nodded thoughtfully walking forward. Suddenly, he stumbled slightly, dizziness haunting him.
Aragorn said nothing, merely taking his friends arm and steadying him. This had been happening far too much lately, and a few times to him as well. Pushing his way into the bushes, Aragorn helped Legolas down. In a moment, the elf regained his senses, his eyes clearing before he worked up the energy to push himself up and help Aragorn.
Lighting a fire, Aragorn and Legolas set about quickly bedding down.
"Do you want first watch?" Legolas asked, placing his pack down as a pillow.
"Yes," Aragorn said, wrapping his cloak tighter around himself.
"Wake me up for second watch." the elf demanded, Aragorn had started not waking him for second watch, insisting that the elf needed more sleep than he. A very poor argument according to Legolas, the man was just as tired as he was. Aragorn nodded, settling down for the night.
Late that night just after the watch changed, Legolas sat alone in the snow. He rubbed his arms softly trying to bring back some sort of warmth to his body, the cold night air biting deeply into his bones as his body had far too much to deal with. In his lap lay a knife, ready to be used in an instant, if occasion called for it. The elf closed his eyes, listening to what nature had to tell him.
Something was not right, his mind warned at him, but he could not conclude what it could be, his mind unusually slow due to lack of proper nutrients. Ever so slowly, a strange sound came to his ears. Concentrating hard on this sound, Legolas was soon able to discern what it really was…a large group's footstep, resounding as one. Crouching lower, Legolas, moved stealthily to Aragorn side, he nudged the ranger awake.
"What― what is it!" Aragorn gasped urgently, jerking awake and sitting bolt up-right, a dagger flashing in his hand.
"Foot steps echo through the night, many of them." Legolas whispered.
There was a chance that the human's would just pass by, that they would not even look in the direction of the bushes, but with the kind of luck that Aragorn and Legolas had, one could never be too careful.
Swiftly gathering their belongings, Aragorn kicked dirt over the fire while Legolas scooted under the bushes themselves. With his lither body, the prince was able to squeeze in places the man could not. It was an uncomfortable, to say the least, but it was better than risking anything in their weak state. Aragorn quickly joined his friend, squashing himself against the prickly plant.
Soon the sounds of men auguring reached their ears and. Legolas shifted, trying to get himself to blend into the ground. Icy-fear gripped his heart, he recognized these voices! These men were the ones who had held him captive, the men who had helped tortured him .The prince shuddered slightly feeling slightly panicked, his feet brushed Aragorn's arm, which was just below his boots. Aragorn feeling him starting to trembled and wrapped his hand around his friend's ankle, squeezing him gently. Legolas relaxed slightly, taking comfort from the touch.
The men's voices were louder now, making it even clear that the men were in the midst of a horrible argument. Just as clear was the reason they were so far away from the fort.
"It is much too late to continue on, that elf and man will have stopped as well by now!" one of the men shouted. His voice slurred slightly, leading the prince and ranger to suspect that he had too much to drink.
"Listen, if we keep going and get to the cursed elven realm we can prove that they aren't there, then we go back! And I for one want to get back as quickly as possible!" the other man shouted just as angry.
Suddenly, the second man let out a hoarse yell, dropping to a crouch. An arrow soared through the air, just missing the thief. With a soft chink the arrow hit the ground, straight in the middle of the bushes.
"Next time I won't miss…" the man with the bow snarled."Now go and retrieve it!"
Oh uh, we all knew that their good luck couldn't last too long. Hehehe just wait to see what I've got planned! XD
Guartiana: I totally understand that, no problem. I will just look forward to Fridays then.
robinsmum: They do need a good laugh every now and then, and like only those two can. I adore their friendship, it is just amazing. Thanks again, mellon-nin.
ShadowHawq35: hannon le!
LILEVILONE96: They are, aren't they! Luckily for them, there was not….this time, though I'm sure Legolas still hates staying there!
Epic Elven Warrior Princess: hehe, yes, I like Legolas better as well…and trust me I will take your word to heart!
Sajna18: Welcome to the story! I'm happy that you like is so far, and Thanks!
csiwannbe99: that's ok. Thanks!
Cielshadow17: Yup! Yea, last chapter I was pretty well behaved towards the two, but playing ms. Nice guy is over! They are finally getting close!
MarMighty: Indeed yes, there were small amounts of Aragorn angst there! Sounds good to me! ;)
The Phantom Dragon: haha, for someone peculiar reason, the twins or Aragorn and Legolas did not have much fun…I sure did though, coming up with ways to continue to torture them!